Need Help - Dairy character

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Bilrite Farms, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. Bilrite Farms

    Bilrite Farms New Member

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    Okay, this is huge issue with us and we've been working very hard with this in our herd but still have a long way to go to keep the progress we have and then to improve on it in our herd. We both come from a beef cattle background. LOL - as a kid I was in 4-H with our Angus and even entered some judging contests for the Angus field days and placed!

    So, we now have dairy goats for several years. We are getting better at seeing the right things but sometimes my eye is still drawn to beef type character. I know when I talked about this with our appraiser this year, our Jersey walked by and he said, look for that in our goats! :) We're trying. What things are the foundations for dairy character? Can you suggest some specifics for us to look for and concentrate on in our goats to help us? Small things that would be easy starting points to look for in kids.
     
  2. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Re: Need Help - Dairy

    ADGA has a good book on confirmation I think. and Boy do I need to read it.
     

  3. Beverrlly

    Beverrlly New Member

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    You can download that book on the ADGA members website for free...that's what we did. It has lots of pictures which I liked!
     
  4. Patty13637

    Patty13637 New Member

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    Re: Need Help - Dairy

    Hubby keeps telling me this years kids look like meat goats not dairy . Well I want them to grow fast ... I hate seeing hip bones on my dairy girls drives me nuts.


    Patty
     
  5. The Illustrated Standard of the Dairy Goat is available through Hoeggers. Shows Ideal udder and attachments. Also has mammory system and a whole chapter on dairy character.
     
  6. Bilrite Farms

    Bilrite Farms New Member

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    Okay, where do I find the ADGA article?

    I have ready the Illustrated Standard of the dairy goat several times...maybe I'll check it out from the Library again - good time of year to read it. Thanks!

    For some reason pictures don't seem to do it for me, I need things explained and then need to go to my barn and try hands on.
     
  7. wheytogosaanens

    wheytogosaanens New Member

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    Can you find someone with a nice herd of Dairy girls that you could visit, put your hands on them (especially that "spring of rib" thang - takes some experience to really get that!) and take some pics.

    Of course, concentrate on their does that score the highest in Dairy character.

    Does thinking "gazelle" help? :)

    We actually had the opposite problem when starting with the Boers...and I would tell myself over and over when looking at them to "think Angus"! :lol

    Camille
     
  8. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    You can't be beefy with loose pliable skin. Skin that pulls away from the body. Bucks with deep wrinkles at their neck. Long flat bone, with the same width between the ribs as the ribs are wide. Ribs flowing (while standing at the head and looking over the rump) back and out, never straight down. Long lean necks. Vicki
     
  9. Feral Nature

    Feral Nature New Member

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    To me, "dairy character" means feminine and deer-like, with evidence of her calories going into the pail.

    This is coming from a former multi-generational beef cattle rancher :sigh
     
  10. UnRuli Acres

    UnRuli Acres New Member

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    Think about it this way. If you were to "remove the udders" of a beef cow and a dairy cow and just compare their body and bone structure what is it that tells you whether you are looking at a beef or dairy animal?
     
  11. Kaye White

    Kaye White New Member

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    :laughcry I heard Ken (in Mich) explain it pretty good....."Think of the ugliest,skinniest, beef cow you ever saw and you're getting close."

    Flat bone, spring of rib, long, lean neck( not many *thick* goats have long lean necks) and think in triangles.
    Kaye
     
  12. Aja-Sammati

    Aja-Sammati Active Member

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    'Flat bone' is such a hard concept to get. I learned by petting the goats at shows that the judges praised for their flatness of bone ;) and asking the appraiser what I was looking for in that department, too.
     
  13. Yup...that was me Kaye. With dairy animals just really think oppisite of beef.

    A GREAT book if you can still get it is....Dairy cattle judging. It was put out by Hoards about 15 years ago. I think you still can get it for about 10 bucks or so. That book no matter is you have cattle or goats, its all the same with the bone structure. Plus...its mostly pictures with little text. It has a picture of a flat boned animal and states that....then a picture of a round bone and then states that. So, its REALLY EASY to understand. Bone structure is the same on dairy goats as dairy cattle. Just one has two teats and the other has four. The score cards are even the same...until you get into the Brown Swiss....theirs is just messed up.

    A good place also to see dairy character is go to the World Dairy Expo website. It has all the Grand Champion cow pictures there for years. That is the cream of the cream that wins that show. That will give you an idea on what you want in dairy animals.


    Ken in MI
     
  14. CGFarm

    CGFarm New Member

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    Here's the great thing, You get to decide on a style that you like. If you have to feed it, house it and look at it on a daily basis then you should like what your breeding.
     
  15. Feral Nature

    Feral Nature New Member

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    Does anyone know of an older non-show herd that has deveoped it's own "style" of dairy goat based on what the owner likes to see and feed everyday? I ask, because those of us who do not show are at the mercy of our own choices when we cull. We may know what proper type is per the ADGA guidelines, but we do not have the benefit of an endless onslaught on judges tearing our choices apart in the show ring. it seem, therefore, that non-show herd, especially closed or mostly closed ones, would begin to head in the direction of the breeders ideal of a dairy goat, no matter what that might be. it would be interesting to see what herds like these looked like. Especially those with small gene pools and from those who use bucks from their own herds.
     
  16. UnRuli Acres

    UnRuli Acres New Member

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    There probably are herds out there like that. However, appraisal can be used as a tool for determining quality in your herd.....you don't HAVE to show.
     
  17. Aja-Sammati

    Aja-Sammati Active Member

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    For Nubians- though I don't think you want Nubians, Diane LOL there is the Six-M-Galaxy herd. Closed for over 15 years- they only use their own animals and cull using milk test and appraisal. http://www.sixmgalaxy.blogspot.com/
     
  18. Bilrite Farms

    Bilrite Farms New Member

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    Thanks everyone. I've been out in the barn trying a few of these out on my herd. One thing I noticed though is that sometimes the visual doesn't match up with the hands on for some of my goats. Some that "look" angular might have rounded bone and narrow ribbing and some that look rounder actually have fairly flat bone and open ribbing when you put your hands on them. Of course it is hard to tell through all the hair right now but it is all a learning process.

    Can you have does that are too dairy too?
     
  19. Kaye White

    Kaye White New Member

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    Yes, you can.
    I've out crossed some of my does this year to a slightly thicker,shorter bodied, type buck, hoping to put some width in the resulting kids. And bred some of my less dairy does to a buck I know will improve dairy character.

    This is where learning to use the LA traits comes into play.
    Kaye
     
  20. Feral Nature

    Feral Nature New Member

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    Fascinating. Like living on an island. Or like my own chicken breed I got out here. A closed herd would eventually suit your own environment if nothing else. The goats that didn't suit it would fall by the wayside.